Very Long lived birds question

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Mrs. K, Mar 22, 2019.

  1. I live in the south where it seldom gets to freezing

    3 vote(s)
    20.0%
  2. I live in the mid section, where it will get as cold as freezing but tends to stay above 0

    5 vote(s)
    33.3%
  3. I live in the north where the temperature gets to negative numbers

    5 vote(s)
    33.3%
  4. I live in the north where the temperatures get to 20 below or more

    2 vote(s)
    13.3%
  1. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

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    western South Dakota
    Yesterday, I found a dead bird. No predator, purple comb. Looked like a quick death, I assume a heart attack. And she was a production red, hatchery bird. I realize, not a long lived type.

    But then I open this forum and people are posting that they have birds that live 8-10 years... I take reasonable care of my birds, I have never even come close. The oldest bird I have ever had in 15 years of birds, was going on 4.

    So my question, is it temperature. Do those hard winters, stress birds out?

    I do realize, that many of you rotate your birds out on a regular basis, but most of us, keep a special bird...just because. So if you have had a bird live longer than 4 years...where do you live?

    Mrs K
     
    FluffTheDuck likes this.
  2. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

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    I doubt temperature plays a significant role. I have one of those flocks that harbor geriatric chickens, and they are carrying the leucosis (LL)virus on top of coping with significantly cold winter temps which average in the low teens at night during the coldest four months and during the day, often below freezing here in the southern Rockies.

    The geriatric group of retired layers include an eleven-year old Light Brahma, a ten-year old SLW, nine-year old Black Cochin and GLW, and an eight-year old Speckled Sussex, and she's slipping into "menopause" at present having laid regularly up to this point.

    Still laying regularly are some six-year old Welsummers. All these chickens are in better health than I am and I'm pretty healthy for an old fart.
     
    FluffTheDuck and tonus like this.
  3. keesmom

    keesmom Crowing

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    I've had many live until 6-9, and have had some make it to double digits. Years ago I had a flock of old farts (9-12 yo) roaming the yard. Unfortunately a coyote wiped them out so I'm not sure how long they would have lived.
     
  4. red horse ranch

    red horse ranch Crowing

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    Buffalo Wyoming
    I have 32 chickens and 10 of them are over 6 years old. The oldest will be 12 late this spring. Two 9 year olds and several 8, 7 and 6 years. Our winters are very cold up here with quite a bit of below zero weather. Some days it's not above zero.

    I don't think temperatures are as big a factor as how they have lived. Mine free range all their life. But they have an insulated 12 x 16 henhouse and a small (100 watt) heat lamp hanging over the water when the temp is below zero. It rarely gets below 15 degrees inside with the heat produced by the birds themselves. They have high quality layer feed and kitchen scraps year round and ground venison with fat in the winter.

    I'm not sure why my chickens live so long. But I like it! ;)
     
    azygous, BY Bob and COLORADO HIPPIE like this.
  5. Fishkeeper

    Fishkeeper Songster

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    Central Texas
    The more eggs they lay, the harder it is on their body, and the shorter their lifespan. I'd imagine one thing that probably helps is getting the breeds that lay less.
     
    aldarita, azygous and BY Bob like this.
  6. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

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    western South Dakota
    well I wonder what I am doing wrong?
     
  7. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

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    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    so all of you would click the poll, you would all pick the below 20 degrees below zero... hmmm
     
  8. Cyprus

    Cyprus Master of the 'never give up' attitude

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    My Coop
    I have a 6 yr old Red Ranger (meat breed) hen. And I had a 7-8yr old D'Uccle hen who died last winter from a skunk. A friend of mine has had birds easily live past 8 yrs old.
    We both live in SE Wisconsin where winters easily hit below -20.
     
    azygous likes this.
  9. Cyprus

    Cyprus Master of the 'never give up' attitude

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    Jan 19, 2018
    SE Wisconsin
    My Coop
    And I do almost nothing for my birds. They have to find most of their own food and water when it isn't winter or they can't get outside.
     
    azygous likes this.
  10. BY Bob

    BY Bob Proprietor, Fluffy Butt Acres

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    Hershey, PA
    For me it has been directly tied to type of bird. Chickens that are prolific layers tend to have reproductive issues and that has brought most of my heavy layers to an early demise. It gets to -10° here. Cold does not seem to impact mine.
     
    getaclue and azygous like this.

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